No matter your line of work, we have all had to handle comments made by unhappy customers. It can certainly be hard and disheartening to see these comments made but it’s important that you correctly handle the situations. PR agencies and in house PR pros can see a dissatisfied customer in a range of places.
Our following suggestions to manage your unhappy customers may not work for every situation but they can be altered and adapted most of the time.
- If a customer speaks poorly about a product or service of yours on social media, do more than just taking the situation offline. Write a message on the social media post and ask the customer to send you an email with their phone number. This shows everyone that you are taking these allegations seriously and not just throwing it under the rug.
- When a customer emails a complaint, quickly reply and suggest talking over the phone. This again shows the customer you are serious about the situation but also minimizes the chance of misinterpretation or further anger on the end of the customer.
- Once you get the customer on the phone, be sure that you don’t interrupt them. They could feel disrespected, so listen, and speak when needed.
- Now that you have heard your customer fully, take into consideration how legitimate the complaint is. If you feel that the complaint is completely unreasonable, then an apology may not be needed, but you need to do one more thing. (see #6)
- If you realize the problem is real, then an honestly apology is required since they have helped you improve your product or service.
- Think about giving your customer something special. This doesn’t mean that a refund is required since the customers is clearly already interested in your company. Provide them with a couple different options.